Exodus 35:1-3

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Exodus 35:1-3
Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do. Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Put to death? (vs. 2)
Can you tell I’m serious about this?
Are you?



Mosaic -Family of God by christianotaku
Image source: Adrianne Masling at Deviant Art. Click for a larger view..

“Membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential
or something to be casually ignored.
The church is God’s agenda for the world.
Jesus said, “I will build my church,
and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
The church is indestructible and will exist for eternity.
It will outlive this universe, and so will your role in it.”

– Rick Warren

Why Opening Day in Cincinnati is the Best Day of the Year

Image result for opening day cincinnati

It’s Opening Day!

There’s something special about Opening Day in Cincinnati. It is unlike any day of the year in any other city. Here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons why I think Opening Day in Cincinnati is the best day of the year:

1. Baseball is back.

2. First Lemon Chill of the season is the best.

3. It’s a chance to learn the names of the new half of the team.

4. Seeing the returning players on the field is like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. You’re hoping he has retained all the qualities you love about him, but you’re hoping he’s grown in the areas that annoy you.

5. Downtown is a party.




6. Employers realize it’s not an “official” holiday so you have to go to work, but they don’t necessarily expect any actual work to get done.

7. The weather is cold enough that a Lemon Chill can last up to 3-4 innings.






8. The pageantry of the pregame program is a unique combination of cheesiness, patriotism and nostalgia that satisfies the soul, and the goosebumps aren’t just from the cold.

9. On Opening Day, anything is possible. One of our rookies could become the next Tony Perez and we could say we saw his first at bat. Regardless of how miserable last season was, it’s in the past. Hope lives on Opening Day.

10. It’s not just baseball, it’s Opening Day!


Exodus 34:29-35

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Exodus 34:29-35
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.[a] 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

34 Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
What do you think is going on here?
Why were the people afraid? (v. 30)
What do you think was the point of the veil?
Does anything happen to you when you talk with me?
Can people see it?
Are they afraid?

My Weekend Picks for 4-1-2016

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I’m pretty sure Trump never knows what will come out of his mouth until he sees the video afterward…

Does the Pro-Life Movement Want to Punish Women?
Russell Moore
“This week Donald Trump caused another stir in national news, and this time, it was for his comments on abortion….

…One of the worst misconceptions about pro-life Americans is that we are pro-baby and anti-women. Unfortunately, the pro-life movement hasn’t always done a good job of defeating this notion. It’s true that some rhetoric on our side has lacked compassion and holistic concern for the well-being of mothers, especially unwed moms. But despite our imperfections, the pro-life movement has indeed been remarkably consistent about our desire not only to tear down abortion culture but to build a culture of life and human flourishing in its stead. This is the conviction that has built thousands of crisis pregnancy centers, funded hundreds of adoptions., and come alongside countless numbers of women, and men, with practical acts of mercy and love.”

One more on the same topic…

4 Reasons Donald Trump’s Abortion Answer Was A Betrayal Of Pro-LifersMollie Hemingway
4 Reasons Donald Trump’s Abortion Answer Was A Betrayal Of Pro-Lifers
If Trump knew anything at all whatsoever about the pro-life movement, he would know what the movement thinks about abortion and whether mothers should be punished.

March for Life leader Jeanne Mancini was one of the many pro-life leaders who rushed out statements aghast at Trump’s comments:

“Mr. Trump’s comment today is completely out of touch with the pro-life movement and even more with women who have chosen such a sad thing as abortion,” said Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. “Being pro-life means wanting what is best for the mother and the baby. Women who choose abortion often do so in desperation and then deeply regret such a decision. No pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen abortion. This is against the very nature of what we are about. We invite a woman who has gone down this route to consider paths to healing, not punishment.”

These kinds of shows are always interesting to me, while being a little frustrating at the same time…

‘The Story of God’ shares Morgan Freeman’s questions of faith Emily McFarlan Miller
Morgan Freeman from "The Story of God with Morgan Freeman" airing on the National Geographic Channel.

 Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channels/Miller Mobley
Bishop Wayne Miller of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pointed out that not only is there a great diversity of beliefs among world religions, but also within each religion.

“I’ve always found that one of the great values of a piece like this is not that it answers all the questions but that it invites us to open the questions and continue the conversation,” Miller said.

James Younger, who produced the series with Freeman and Lori McCreary, said “The Story of God” isn’t meant to be a theological treatise, but a reflection of Freeman’s “personal journey” and a response to “this apparent discord and disconnect between different faith traditions around the world and even within the U.S.”

That includes atheists and agnostics, as well — both people of faith and no faith are asking these big questions, the producer said.

“We have a lot more in common than we think we do,” he said.”

Actually, the same could be said of these kinds of shows…

5 Ways “God’s Not Dead” fails ChristiansChris Williams
“In March 2014, “God’s Not Dead” brought in $60 million at the box office, proving that movies for evangelicals can turn a profit. It was quickly followed by “Son of God,” “Heaven is for Real” and this year’s flood of Jesus movies.

I initially ignored it, citing my usual allergy to “Christian” cinema.  But as “God’s Not Dead 2” hits theaters this weekend, I decided to finally give the movie a shot.

And here’s my review: “God’s Not Dead” is an offensive and harmful movie — and I say that as a Christian.

Now, the film isn’t poorly made. The acting is capable. Harold Cronk is a competent director. From a technical standpoint, “God’s Not Dead” is fine at what it does — but what it does is extremely problematic. “God’s Not Dead” sets out to be an encouragement for young Christians encountering challenges to their faith. But in the end, it actually fails its key audience and becomes the thing it’s preaching against. Here’s how…”

I can’t help but visualize these guys in today’s candidate debates…

What Early-20th Century American Presidents Sounded LikeStacy Conradt
“Everyone knows JFK’s Boston accent and, thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, is more than familiar with the voices of recent presidents like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama (who, according to some, sounds more than a little bit like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). But what did President Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge sound like when he deigned to speak? Or how about 23rd President Benjamin Harrison, the first president to be captured on audio? Wonder no more—here’s what nine presidents sounded like.”

Seth reminds us of something basic…

Actually, the truth isn’t up to themSeth Godin
“This relentless reframing of the truth into something else causes us to not ask the right questions, it prevents us from understanding our options, and from making smart choices. As soon as we say the truth is relative, and shiftable, and a matter of opinion, we lose the power that comes from knowing.

Just because a leader can gain power or influence by denying a truth isn’t sufficient reason for you to follow him…

…In a culture where con men, hucksters and others desperately seeking power and influence have decided that they can profit by making truth seem relative, we’re in danger of every day becoming the first of April.

Gravity’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. ”

Couples Therapy…
Source: Bizarro





Exodus 34:10-28

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Exodus 34:10-28
10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

11 “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 12 Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. 13 You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.

17 “You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal.

18 “You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. 19 All that open the womb are mine, all your male[a] livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. 20 The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed.

21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. 22 You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end. 23 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. 24 For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land, when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.

25 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover remain until the morning. 26 The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”

27 And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.[b]

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Spend some time today thinking about the word “covenant.”
Look it up.
Do you have any covenants?
With whom?
Do you have a covenant with me?
What are its terms?